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J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):5046-52.

Effects of sugars on whey protein isolate gelation.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.


Whey protein isolate (WPI) gels were prepared from solutions containing ribose or lactose at pH values ranging from 6 to 9. The gels with added lactose had no color development, whereas the gels with added ribose were orange/brown. Lactose stabilized the WPI to denaturation, which increased the time and temperature required for gelation, thus decreasing the fracture modulus of the gel compared to the gels with added ribose and the gels with no sugar added. Ribose, however, favored the Maillard reaction and covalent cross-linking of proteins, which increased gel fracture modulus. The decreased pH caused by the Maillard reaction in the gels containing ribose occurred after protein denaturation and gelation, thus having little if any effect on the gelation process.

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